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My team's document library contains over 200 checked-out files. As we are preparing for a migration from SharePoint 2010 to 2013, I am notifying users of the need to check their documents in before our site is moved to the new server, because I anticipate they may get errors when trying to check a document, in if the library has a different URL than it had when they checked it out - and I don't want to have to assist dozens of users with manual workarounds after the fact.

But a few of the documents are checked out to users that have left the team, or even the company, so I know that I will have to either "Discard Check Out" or "Check In" those files, as the site admin. Some of those documents were last modified several years ago. I'm pretty sure that "Discard Check Out" will leave the Modified date unchanged, and "Check In" will update it to now. I also know that last year a domain policy was changed (and I have no idea why this was set at the domain policy level*) such that MS Office now strictly enforces the "Use my local drafts folder" to Yes when the checkout is done through the client program; the only way to use the server cache location is to do the checkout from the library before opening the file. Which means that some of the older documents are probably checked out but stored on the server, while the more recent documents are very likely (but not quite certainly) checked out and stored on users' workstations.

So my question is twofold:

  • If I use my administrative powers to do a "Check In" on files that other users have checked out, will changes that they made after their checkout be retained (and does this answer differ depending on whether or not they checked it out to their local drafts folder)?

    (Specifically, I mean if they made changes and clicked Save in the client program, but did not do a Check In.)

  • Is there any way to tell, for a given document, whether the user has saved any changes that they haven't checked in, (i.e., any way to positively identify a file for which "Discard Check Out" will not lose information)?

* Significant problems with the "local drafts folder" option include: (1) when checked out, the version history panel in the Office client programs don't work, because they try to look for prior versions within My Documents\SharePoint Drafts\..., (2) likewise, commands like Open File Location, Share > Email > Send a link, etc. aren't useful when the file is checked out, (3) links within documents that should point to other locations on the site sometimes get changed to links to nonexistent locations within C:\Users\[someone]\Documents\SharePoint Drafts\..., etc.

  • This answer may help, sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/126463/… – KAE Mar 22 '16 at 13:40
  • @KAE hmm... that question refers to "overriding" a checkout. I don't see any option that appears to functionally align with what's discussed there (document remains in a "checked out" state, only change being to replace "checked out to" with your name). The only options I have are "Check In" and "Discard Check Out", both of which are pretty implicit that the end result will be a "not checked out" file. – Dan Henderson Mar 22 '16 at 17:00

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